30 Jan 2009, 9:45pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
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Ratepayers Forced To Pay For Removal of Klamath Dams

Oregon Senate Bill 76 will be the subject of a Hearing next Tuesday, February 3rd. SB 76 requires that electricity ratepayers in the Klamath Basin bear the costs of dismantling four dams on the Klamath River.

The ratepayers oppose the destruction of the dams, which will cause electricity rates to skyrocket as well as cause massive brownouts in the region due to lack of substitute power. Despite that, ratepayers are being forced to buy the bullets for the firing squad that will shoot them.

Removal of the dams, and the plan to force costs on the ratepayers, are the brainchild of braindead Governor Teddy “The Torch” Taxandgougeme, the worst governor in history [here, here, here, here].

The removal of the dams is ostensibly to improve salmon survival, but instead will have the opposite effect [here]. In any case, those who have promoted the dam removal will NOT be paying for it, nor will they be paying for the exorbitant Enron-style electricity rates that result.

Furthermore, the Enron-style screwing of the residents of the Klamath Basin starts now, if Ted the Goober gets his sick way.

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30 Jan 2009, 8:19pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Mobilizing the Truth about Wolves

by Tony Mayer and Rick Mayer, Save Our Elk [here]

The major media tends to misrepresent the reality of wolf introduction. Unsubstantiated and inaccurate statements suggest that wolf control is the same as wholesale slaughter of wolves.

There is an alternate view. Knowledgeable wildlife experts like Dr Charles Kay, Dr Val Geist, Dr. Tom Bergerud, Mr. George Dovel, and many others express a more reasonable and scientific view of wolf control, but the main stream media rarely reports balance about wolves.

Filtered coverage by the media benefits organizations like Defenders of Wildlife, EarthJustice, Sierra Club, PETA, Western Watersheds, and several others who have ulterior agendas, enhancing their fund raising.

The best way for facts about wolves to prevail is to begin playing the game in the same way by finding effective ways to get our message out.  We have created the SaveElk.com website for just that purpose. We are attempting to inform the public about the devastation that expanding wolf populations are causing to our region.

I encourage you to visit the Save Our Elk website [here]. Please review the information presented there. We challenge the systematic eradication of our native ungulate wildlife by uncontrolled wolves.

Although we are up against huge money-raising machines, we are doing we can to get the facts out to effect positive change in public opinion.  We sincerely hope that common sense will prevail once the facts are out for everyone to see.

Please help us.  Contact your local media, write letters to your newspapers, contact your radio stations, contact your kids teachers, rally your sportsman groups, call and write your legislators and your governor, inform your Fish and Wildlife representatives.  This issue is urgent and its time that we all do our part.

26 Jan 2009, 2:41pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Secret Meetings, Wolves, Missing Money, and the Next Possible Director of US Fish and Wildlife Service

By Jim Beers, Wolfbites, January 25, 2024 [here]

Many years ago, my mother once observed at the dinner table “you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep”. The wisdom of that observation has grown in my mind with the passing of the years. It is my belief that it applies even to Presidents as in “you can tell a lot about a President by the appointments they make”.

Amidst the recent picture of CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta’s daughter being hugged by Hugo Chavez to the grinning delight of Daniel Ortega; the radical animal rights agenda of the new Chief of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; the spectacle of a Secretary of State whose husband has collected and will continue to collect millions of dollars from Middle East tyrants; and a Treasury Secretary who not only evaded paying substantial taxes for years but was specifically paid money by his employer to pay those taxes: comes a disturbing rumor that should concern every American.

In the late 1990’s the US Fish and Wildlife Service tried to force me to retire and when I wouldn’t they embarked on a hideous campaign to destroy my reputation, harass my family, and make me unemployable. There was no official reason for this because it could not be defended publicly. In fact, it was because of the secret alliance of the then US Fish and Wildlife Service Director and extremist environmental groups and radical animal rights groups.

I had been working for several years here, in Canada, and in Europe to defend the authority of State Fish and Wildlife agencies to administer trapping programs and for American businesses to buy and sell fur and fur products in the face of European Union bureaucrats efforts (on behalf of American/International extremist environmental and radical animal rights organizations) to ban all fur and fur products from Europe that was then the world’s largest buyer of furs. When the US Trade Representative and State Department delegations (of which I was usually the sole fur management and use advocate) prevailed and caused the EU bureaucrats to back down, the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service was secretly furious because she had been promising her new “secret friends” that we would not be successful. I say “secret” because at that time USFWS was publicly cultivating the fiction that they represented the management and use of fish and wildlife and not the radical agendas of the groups that now control them.

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22 Jan 2009, 1:43pm
Wolves
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Clearwater Wolves To Be Controlled?

In the latest twist to the Rocky Mountain wolf saga, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has announced their intention to request wolf control authority from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), specifically for the culling of wolves in the Clearwater River watershed.

Clearwater elk herds have been particularly hard hit by the burgeoning Idaho wolf population [here, here, here, here, here].

There are some legal/political clouds hanging over the request, however. The State of Idaho is not necessarily required to ask permission from the Federal government to control wolves. States have 10th amendment rights (and the obligation) to safeguard their own interests and those of their citizens. The USFWS has been on-again-off-again regarding the ESA status of Rocky Mountain wolves [here, here, here, here, here, and here among many other posts] which all parties agree are no longer in danger of going extinct, if in fact they ever were, which is hugely doubtful.

Idaho has an official approved wolf recovery plan (2002), and an unofficial unapproved one (2008), the latter currently a point of some contention [here, here]. And the IDFG has been playing games with their budget [here].

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21 Jan 2009, 6:11pm
Wolves
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Plans For Wolf Delisting Put On Hold

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, January 21, 2024 [here]

Almost immediately upon  taking office, Barack Obama ordered that any of President Bush’s orders that had not been signed and finalized be put on hold. This includes the proposal by the Department of Interior to remove federal protection of the Rocky Mountain gray wolf.

After making the announcement of the proposal nearly two weeks ago, the DOI said that last week it was planning to publish the Final Rule on wolf delisting at the end of January. That would have made the proposal complete, and delisting would have taken effect in 30 days.

President Obama’s order, which isn’t that unusual and is something similar to what former President George Bush did when he took office, effectively puts the entire wolf delisting process on hold.

From the Idaho Statesman today [here]

Wolf delisting decision placed on hold by Obama Administration

The decision to remove Rocky Mountain gray wolves from the endangered species list — and return control to Idaho and neighboring states — is now on hold.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel signed a memorandum Tuesday sent to all agencies and departments to stop all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration, the White House said in a statement.

The decision to delist wolves in Montana, Idaho, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and northern Utah was scheduled to be published Jan. 27 and to go into effect 30 days later.

It could still be allowed to go forward, modified or held indefinitely, said Frank Quimby, an Interior Department spokesman. The review will be conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Quimby couldn’t estimate how long the review will take.

Sharon Rose, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman in Denver, said there was still a possibility the rule could go forward as scheduled.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens on the 27th,” Rose said. … [more]

20 Jan 2009, 9:12pm
Wolves
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Redirect IDFG priority, bloated payroll

by Ed Lindahl, Idaho County Free Press, Jan 14, 2024 [here]

Attention Idaho Sportsmen: Idaho Fish and Game has been systematically abandoning its management of Idaho’s hunted/fished wild species such as elk, deer and trout. The department changed its priority to that of protecting, preserving, perpetuating and managing Idaho’s biological diversity, including insects and plants, for all generations. It’s being done almost entirely with your license, tag, and excise tax dollars.

The requested FY2010 workforce exceeds 1000 (528 full-time, 424 temps w/benefits and “many” temps without benefits). Paying for its new mission and growing payroll the department sought legislative approval of a $77,150,600, FY2009 budget and a 20 percent fee increase in FY2010. That’s hard to understand in these tough times. Our governor has announced holding back 4 percent from other departments. It could increase.

You can redirect the department’s priority and reign in its bloated payroll. Meet with, write, call or e-mail your legislators and request they bring to a halt the mission change, payroll growth and expansion/maintenance of non-game/nonessential programs. Request that they vote to cause the department to:

- Make top priority the fully funded management of Idaho’s hunted/fished wild species.
- Reduce the permanent workforce to the maximum of 528 authorized by law.
- Withdraw all fee increases for the duration of these tough economic times.
- Reduce FY2010 budget authority to FY2007 actual expenditures.

Please request what’s outlined above. It will help secure the necessary change from the direction in which the department is heading. Do it for deer, elk and trout and other hunted/fished wild species. Do it for yourself and fellow sportsmen.

Ed Lindahl, Sagle ID

20 Jan 2009, 6:47pm
Uncategorized
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Hard Disk Crash

My apologies to all. The hard disk in the server somewhere in the Midwest crashed, resulting in a 28 hour downtime for W.I.S.E. and the loss of a couple of days worth of posts and comments.

We are pursuing other ISP options, looking for providers with redundancy and back-up, so that situations such as just occurred never happen again.

16 Jan 2009, 8:16pm
Wolves
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A Letter to the Idaho Legislature Regarding Wolf Management

by John L. Runft

Dear Legislators,

The current late hour “delisting” by the Bush administration is, I suggest, simply one more round in the efforts of the USFWS and the wolf proponents (now nominal opponents to the USFWS) to keep the states off balance and in the game. If not foreclosed by the incoming Obama administration, the lawsuits of the proponents will serve to delay and transmogrify “delisting” into the inevitable unfunded federal mandate to be serviced and paid for by the state.

In 2002, the Idaho Legislature promulgated the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan [here] as a good faith, practical compromise, even though it was contrary to the established policy of the State of Idaho laid down by the legislature by House Joint Resolution 5 in 2001. This policy to “remove” the reintroduced wolves is explicitly reiterated and acknowledged on page 4 in the Executive Summary of the cited 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. This Plan is still the law of Idaho.

Already the Feds have convinced the Idaho Fish and Game to raise the management level of wolves from 150 to 500 in order to appease the Fed plan to “delist.” This increase is contrary to the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The Plan on page 18, section entitled “Wolf Population Objectives,” provides that “wolf numbers and distribution within the state will be managed per the chart on page 5 [table 1] (which provides for 15 packs)” and further states that “establishment of specific population sizes to be maintained is not realistic.”

The “delisting” of the wolves has been siren song that has been constantly sung and whispered in the ears of the Idaho legislators and the IDF&G for two decades now, all to this end: Nothing. Shouldn’t the members of the legislature finally feel hornswagled? Duped?

Also attached [here] is a copy of the “Memorandum of Agreement” (”MOA”) between the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor Of  Idaho dated January 5, 2006. In Section VII (interestingly there are two section VIIs) of the “MOA” dealing with “FUNDING,” it is made clear that Idaho cannot depend on continued federal support in its efforts to assist in managing the wolves.

The “MOA” provides that the purpose of the rule promulgated under ESA § 10(j) is “to grant those states with approved management plans an opportunity to assume many of the management responsibilities currently performed by the service.” An opportunity? Look at the duties listed for the state — all of the expensive grunt work while the feds continue to control and direct the program. Not only does this violate every conceivable tenet of federalism, it is a fraud on the Idaho taxpayers.

Idaho voters and taxpayers were promised that the state would manage and control what it would be paying for. Thus, Idaho has fallen into the trap of agreeing to provide services under (not “manage”) and pay for a federal program, controlled and directed by the federal government. In fact the “MOA” refers to the State as “the designated agent” of the FWS.

Surely now all can finally see that delisting will never happen –- in any form as originally conceived. With this next step (re-delisting), the Feds seek to entice Idaho through its the Fish and Game Department into a greater “step and fetch it” roll, (now 500 wolves, more personnel on the ground and a larger department) while acknowledging that the assistance of the State is really needed. Federal budget problems will be brought up soon enough acknowledging in fact that there are insufficient federal funds to manage the wolf “reintroduction” and the “problem” will fall into the state’s lap and expense under federal control and direction.

Some legislators have balked at facing up to the Feds, rescinding the Wolf Management Plan, and refusing to cooperate or participate with the Feds (a “boycott”) because the Feds have threatened to name the Indian Tribes as the designated agents of the FWS. Those legislators need to reexamine this so called “threat.” The entire wolf management is fast spiraling into a crisis. Hunting will not cure the wolves’ fecundity. Alaska relies on helicopter control, which might not work in Idaho terrain. Poison is the only other remedy, and it is outlawed. There is not enough federal money allocated to properly control and manage the wolves. As the “MOA” states, the numbers of wolves reached “the biological requirements for wolf recovery in 2002″ and their numbers keep expanding. Let the tribes have the problem and save Idaho the blame and expense.

This is a federal disaster and the State has a final opportunity to extricate itself from it. I submit that the only remaining sensible and courageous course of action in light of the events that have transpired is the boycotting of any cooperation with the federal government regarding wolf management until Idaho can have true, complete control of the management of all its wildlife, including wolves.

Best regards,

John L. Runft
Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC
Boise, Idaho

16 Jan 2009, 11:48am
Bears Birds Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Idaho Needs To Take Control of Wolf Management

by Tony Mayer, Save Our Elk [here]

Several of us from our concerned citizens group had a meeting yesterday to discuss proposed wolf legislation in Idaho. In our meeting the proposed rule change IDAPA - Idaho Fish and Game was discussed.  Our group is unanimously opposed to this rule change and recommends that this proposal be tabled or killed.  Below is a summary of some of our concerns:

IDAPA 13 - IDAHO FISH AND GAME COMMISSION

13.01.08 - RULES GOVERNING THE TAKING OF BIG GAME ANIMALS IN THE STATE OF IDAHO

DOCKET NO. 13-0108-0801

DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY: The following is a nontechnical explanation of the substance and purpose of the proposed rulemaking: The Wolf Management Plan calls for maintaining viable wolf populations at or near current levels of 500-700 wolves. The proposed rules allow hunting of wolves pursuant to seasons set by the Commission.

FEE SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 67-5226(2), the Governor has found that the fee or charge being imposed or increased is justified and necessary to avoid immediate danger and the fee is described herein.

Concern #1.  The 500-700 wolves is a complete departure from the 100 wolf minimum and 150 wolf objective and from the Wolf Policy outlined in the WCMP.  Further, because the IDFG “population plan” did not follow the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (see pages 4, 5, 18, 22, and 24 here) nor is it a lawfully amended version of that plan approved by the Legislature, this language should not be approved as part of a Permanent Rule and the Idaho Legislature should instruct the F&G Commission to repeal the plan and rewrite it in accordance with I.C. Sec. 36-715.

Concern #2.  The imposition of more stringent fair chase standards and/or weapon restrictions for wolves than for other predators classified as either big game or furbearers will make them more difficult to hunt and harvest.  For example, bears and lions may be hunted with hounds, bears may be hunted over bait, and lions may be killed using .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, and using electronic calls in specific locations, but none of these are legal in hunting wolves according to the rule changes.

Concern #3.  In 2005, HB 132 amended I.C. Sec. 36-201 “Fish and Game Commission Authorized to Classify Wildlife” by adding the following: “Notwithstanding the classification assigned to wolves, all methods of take including, but not limited to, all methods utilized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Wildlife Services, shall be authorized for the management of wolves in accordance with existing laws or approved management plans.” Yet, also in 2005, the IDFG Commission Rule classifying the Gray Wolf as a Game Animal was approved as IDAPA Rule 13.01.08.10.(k); and IDAPA Rule 13.01.08.410.05(d) prohibits the use of any net, snare, trap, chemical, deadfall or device other than legal firearm, archery or muzzleloader equipment to take a big game animal.  This error should be corrected.

The Rules Subcommittee needs to address these concerns and correct the discrepancies between what the law says and what IDFG has done. In addition:

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15 Jan 2009, 11:23am
Endangered Specious Homo sapiens Wolves
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Wolf Delisting Redux a Ruse and a Sham

We reported [here] that the US Fish and Wildlife Service intends to delist Rocky Mountain wolves again, probably at the end of the month. The delisting will include all Rocky Mountain wolves except those in Wyoming.

The rationale for excluding Wyoming is that they have not written an adequate state wolf management plan. From USFWS “talking points”:

• While the Service has approved wolf management plans in Montana and Idaho, it determined that Wyoming’s current state law and wolf management plan are not sufficient to conserve Wyoming’s portion of a recovered northern Rocky Mountain wolf population.

• So even though Wyoming is included in the northern Rocky Mountain DPS, the subpopulation of gray wolves in Wyoming is not being removed from protection of the Endangered Species Act at this time.

Hanging Wyoming out to dry is a ruse, a red herring intended to draw attention away from delisting the other RM wolves.

The simple fact is that Rocky Mountain (Canadian gray) wolves are NOT endangered. The species is not at risk of going extinct. There are more than 60,000 wolves in Canada and the population is growing in leaps and bounds. The wolf populations in the US are also multiplying like crazy, expanding at 25% or more per year. Yellowstone NP (it’s in Wyoming) is saturated with wolves and ungulate (elk, deer, bison) populations are crashing due to wolf predation. In Idaho and Montana game herds are disappearing and hungry wolves are killing livestock in record numbers.

The USFWS attempted to delist RM wolves last year. They were sued and lost, not because wolves are at risk but because of egregiously bad decisions by pseudo-scientific judges. Rather than appealing the goofy judgments, last December the USFWS capitulated and relisted non-endangered wolves.

Now, in the waning moments of the Bush Administration, the USFWS offers up an off-the-wall Delisting Redux. It is shadow puppet theater, however. If the Obamaloids don’t squelch it within minutes of taking office, the usual suspect enviro-hysteric litigation-happy “advocacy” groups will sue.

Decision To Delist Gray Wolves To Be Challenged In Court

by Dee Chisamera, eFluxMedia, January 15th 2009 [here]

Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife, called it a blatantly political maneuver that the Bush administration has been supporting since day one. It is nonsense to rush this rule through when states have plans to kill hundreds of wolves as soon as they’re delisted, he further explained, also adding that the Defenders of Wildlife organization plans to challenge the decision in court.

The Center for Biological Diversity also threatened to take the matter to court. Its representative, Michael Robinson, warned this rule (…) will result in the deaths of over a thousand wolves, and will unravel the natural balance these wolves have maintained. The organization reinforced the idea that the delisting doesn’t fix any problem, but instead it creates new ones that will prevent the gray wolf populations from recovering.

“Natural balance” is a crock of junk pseudo-science, promulgated by wackos in the face of near consensus among wildlife ecologists that “natural balance” is a fairy tale myth. Be that as it may, the wackos will sue and the USFWS will again mount no defense.

According to informed Wildlife and People readers, Delisting Revisited is:

… a ruse designed by the USFWS to demonize the Bush Administration and nail down once and for all that the wolf is to be forever listed as an Endangered Species.

For the past 12 years the attorney generals and governors of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming squandered every opportunity to have this issue decided in federal court based on facts and law. Their foot-dragging incompetence has resulted in laches: they have “slept on their rights” and as a result of the delay have crippled their claim. Laches is a form of estoppel for delay. Equity aids the vigilant, not the negligent. And the attorney generals and governors of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming did it for money, the pittance of Federal wolf funding that has been a handy bag of loot for the state bosses.

State and Federal governments have perpetrated a fraud. Canadian wolves are not endangered. On the contrary, their populations are burgeoning and it is ungulate populations that are crashing as a result. Too many sticky fingers in the till have sold the residents of Rocky Mountain states down wolf river, trampling Constitutional rights like a herd of enraged elephants.

The latest machination from the USFWS is a soft lob to the crazies who will hit it out of the park. Real suffering will result, to both humans and wildlife. It is another shameful episode in an endless parade of shame.

It is past time for states to stand up to the Feds and restore human rights to Americans. The displays of gutlessness and venality of elected officials have gone on long enough. It is time to put an end to predatory offenses against man and nature by sacrosanct, uncontrolled wolves.

15 Jan 2009, 10:17am
Wolves
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A New Wolf Compensation and Prevention Program

Another goodie hidden in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (S.22), passed Sunday by Harry Reid and the US Senate, their very first action of 2009, is Subtitle F of Title VI, the Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Project (pp. 548-552).

Subtitle F provides $1 million per year nationally to reimburse livestock owners for their animals killed by wolves.

Informed Wildlife and People readers comment:

This looks like yet another way to get the states hooked on a federal program that states will have to fund after five years if they wish to continue the program.  Meanwhile, wolves will seem more acceptable.

Also, $1 million per year divided among all states with wolves won’t go far. Then there is the ongoing debate about proving wolf predation.  To often those who must make the determination cannot respond to an incident for days or weeks, by which time essential evidence is gone.

Finally, this does nothing to compensate states for lost game, lost hunting opportunities, and states and local economies for lost revenue from hunting.

It  is just a drop in the bucket and the funding probably won’t be appropriated anyway.

The entire Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 is 1,264 pages and may be downloaded [here]. Subtitle F of Title VI reads as follows:

Subtitle F—Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Project

SEC. 6501. DEFINITIONS.

In this subtitle:
(1) INDIAN TRIBE.—The term ‘‘Indian tribe’’ has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
(2) LIVESTOCK.—The term ‘‘livestock’’ means cattle, swine, horses, mules, sheep, goats, livestock guard animals, and other domestic animals, as determined by the Secretary.
(3) PROGRAM.—The term ‘‘program’’ means the demonstration program established under section 6502(a).
(4) SECRETARIES.—The term ‘‘Secretaries’’ means the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, acting jointly.

SEC. 6502. WOLF COMPENSATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAM.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretaries shall establish a 5-year demonstration program to provide grants to States and Indian tribes—
(1) to assist livestock producers in undertaking proactive, non-lethal activities to reduce the risk of livestock loss due to predation by wolves; and
(2) to compensate livestock producers for livestock losses due to such predation.
(b) CRITERIA AND REQUIREMENTS.—The Secretaries shall—
(1) establish criteria and requirements to implement the program; and
(2) when promulgating regulations to implement the program under paragraph (1), consult with States that have implemented State programs that provide assistance to—
(A) livestock producers to undertake proactive activities to reduce the risk of livestock loss due to predation by wolves; or
(B) provide compensation to livestock producers for livestock losses due to such predation.
(c) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), a State or Indian tribe shall—
(1) designate an appropriate agency of the State or Indian tribe to administer the 1 or more programs funded by the grant;
(2) establish 1 or more accounts to receive grant funds;
(3) maintain files of all claims received under programs funded by the grant, including supporting documentation;
(4) submit to the Secretary—
(A) annual reports that include—
(i) a summary of claims and expenditures under the program during the year; and
(ii) a description of any action taken on the claims; and
(B) such other reports as the Secretary may require to assist the Secretary in determining the effectiveness of activities provided assistance under this section; and
(5) promulgate rules for reimbursing livestock producers under the program.
(d) ALLOCATION OF FUNDING.—The Secretaries shall allocate funding made available to carry out this subtitle—
(1) equally between the uses identified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a); and
(2) among States and Indian tribes based on—
(A) the level of livestock predation in the State or on the land owned by, or held in trust for the benefit of, the Indian tribe;
(B) whether the State or Indian tribe is located in a geographical area that is at high risk for livestock predation; or
(C) any other factors that the Secretaries determine are appropriate.
(e) ELIGIBLE LAND.—Activities and losses described in subsection (a) may occur on Federal, State, or private land, or land owned by, or held in trust for the benefit of, an Indian tribe.
(f) FEDERAL COST SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of any activity provided assistance made available under this subtitle shall not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the activity.

SEC. 6503. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subtitle $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2009 and each fiscal year thereafter.

14 Jan 2009, 8:46pm
Wolves
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USFWS to Delist RM Wolves, Again

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to delist (remove the Endangered Species List) the western Great Lakes population and portions of the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves.

The USFWS originally delisted those wolves in in March 2007 and February 2008 (respectively) [here]. Immediately thereafter they were sued by enviro groups [here] (as predicted and promised) . The states intervened on behalf of the delisting [here]. Then the USFWS lost (more or less) the lawsuit [here, here, here]. Then they reopened a comment period for delisting [here] (- I know it makes no sense). Then last month they relisted the wolves [here, here, here] (- just reporting what happened).

Today the USFWS issued the following press release indicating that they are going to delist again (- if you are confused, welcome to the club). It is difficult to say how long this second delisting will last, or where the ball will bounce next.

NEWS RELEASE [here]

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

January 14, 2024

Service Removes Western Great Lakes, Portion of Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Populations from Endangered Species List

Wolves in Wyoming to Remain Protected by Endangered Species Act

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett announced today the removal of the western Great Lakes population and portions of the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The success of gray wolf recovery efforts in these areas has contributed to expanding populations of wolves that no longer require the protection of the Act. However, gray wolves found within the borders of Wyoming will continue to be protected by the Act due to a lack of adequate regulatory mechanisms ensuring their protection under state law.

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7 Jan 2009, 12:22pm
Wolves
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Declaration of Mark S. Boyce

This is the fourth of four posts containing selected excerpts from the testimony of wildlife biologists, experts in wolf biology. The testimony was solicited in regards to the lawsuit brought by enviro groups to enjoin the delisting (removal from the Endangered Species List) of Rocky Mountain wolves. The Plaintiffs prevailed last July when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, throwing out the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and ordering them put back on the Endangered Species list [here].

Judge Molloy utterly disregarded the testimony of the actual authorities, upon whom the USFWS is legally bound to rely. Molloy found that delisting would threaten “genetic exchange”. That is the exact opposite of the testimonies of the experts. Molloy thereby discredited the entire Federal judiciary and has raised a storm of protest.

The citizenry can no longer trust our Federal judges, who have taken the law into their own hands, ignored the advice of expert scientists, propped themselves up as “experts” when they most assuredly are not, and substituted political sabotage for jurisprudence.

Selected excerpts from the DECLARATION OF MARK S. BOYCE, PH.D. to the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA, MISSOULA DIVISION (Boyce’s entire Declaration is [here]).

I hold a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology (Yale University, 1977) and work as a Professor of Biological Sciences and occupy an endowed chair at the University of Alberta. I have done so since 1999. I specialize in the ecology, conservation and management of species at risk, and in wildlife management. In this context, I undertake or have undertaken a variety of tasks. For example:

• I conduct research on quantitative methods for evaluating population viability of threatened and endangered species. I have published several review papers on population viability analysis. By “viability” I mean long-term persistence of populations of wildlife species.

• I have conducted research on wolves and their prey in Yellowstone National Park and adjacent areas of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. I used computer simulation to anticipate the effects of wolves on wild ungulate populations prior to wolf recovery. Then subsequent to wolf reintroduction, I have conducted research showing that our original projections correctly anticipated the dynamics of wolf and ungulate populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. All of this research has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

• I have been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Alberta Conservation Association, the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, the National Science Foundation, and the National Geographic Society to evaluate the population dynamics and predator-prey relationships of wolves in western North America. …

I disagree with the Plaintiffs’ allegations of harm to wolf populations resulting from the delisting of the Rocky Mountain wolf at this time, and I believe that there is a very high probability of long-term persistence of wolves while being managed by the individual states according to their approved management plans. …

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6 Jan 2009, 11:16pm
Wolves
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Declaration of L. David Mech

In this third of four posts we give selected excerpts from the testimony of wildlife biologists, experts in wolf biology. The testimony was solicited in regards to the lawsuit brought by enviro groups to enjoin the delisting (removal from the Endangered Species List) of Rocky Mountain wolves. The Plaintiffs prevailed last July when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, throwing out the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and ordering them put back on the Endangered Species list. [here]

Judge Molloy set himself up as a wolf expert and disregarded the testimony of the actual authorities, upon whom the USFWS is legally bound to rely. Molloy found that delisting would threaten “genetic exchange”. That is the exact opposite of the testimonies of the experts. We post what the real experts had to say in order to reveal just how egregious and unsound Judge Molloy’s decision was.

Selected excerpts from the DECLARATION OF L. DAVID MECH, PH.D., H.D.A. to the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA, MISSOULA DIVISION (Mech’s entire Declaration is [here]).

I received a B.S. degree in wildlife management from Cornell University in 1958, a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Purdue University in 1962, and an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture from Purdue in 2005. I have worked for the U. S. Department of the Interior (DOI) since 1969 as a wildlife research biologist studying wolves, and I am currently a Senior Research Scientist, Biological Resources Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly Division of Endangered Species Research, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)… I am also an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Ecology and Behavioral Biology, University of Minnesota—1979 to present, and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology—1981 to present (Graduate Faculty of both). …

[R]ecent data demonstrates connectivity between the YNP population and wolves elsewhere in the Northern Rocky Mountains. …

A total of 41 wolves were translocated into YNP, and they came from 3 widely disparate populations, Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana. Within both the Alberta and British Columbia founders, there were members of several different packs. Thus the YNP population was founded with high genetic diversity. …

No genetically effective immigration has been found in the closed Isle Royale (IR) wolf population for 50 years, yet the population persists at the same range of levels (12-50, average about 25/per year) as it has for 50 years. In fact the Isle Royale wolf population is informative for several reasons. Contrary to the 3 NRM wolf populations it was founded by only 1 female and 1 or 2 males (Wayne et al. 1991) and has inbred for 50 years. The IR wolves look and act like any other wolves, prey successfully on one of the species’ largest prey animals, the moose (Alces alces), and survive at as high a level as any other wolf population. It has even withstood a bout of canine parvovirus for decades (Peterson et al. 1998; Fuller et al., 2003:189-190.) …

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6 Jan 2009, 3:40pm
Wolves
by admin
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Declaration of Edward E. Bangs

In this group of four posts we give selected excerpts from the testimony of wildlife biologists, experts in wolf biology. The testimony was solicited in regards to the lawsuit brought by enviro groups to enjoin the delisting (removal from the Endangered Species List) of Rocky Mountain wolves. The Plaintiffs prevailed last July when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, throwing out the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and ordering them put back on the Endangered Species list. [here]

Judge Molloy set himself up as a wolf expert and disregarded the testimony of the actual authorities, upon whom the USFWS is legally bound to rely. We post what the real experts had to say in order to reveal just how egregious and unsound Judge Molloy’s decision was.

Selected excerpts from the DECLARATION OF EDWARD E. BANGS to the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA, MISSOULA DIVISION (Bang’s entire Declaration is [here]).

I am a wildlife biologist employed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] as a Wolf Recovery Coordinator. In this capacity I was responsible for overall coordination of all wolf-related activities in the Northern Rocky Mountain [NRM] Distinct Population Segment [DPS] prior to the delisting of the NRM DPS. Previously, I was the USFWS project leader for wolf management in Montana from 1988-1992. I led preparation of the Congressionally-mandated Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] (USFWS 1994) to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone National Park [YNP] and central Idaho from 1992-1994. I was the project leader for the reintroduction of wolves from 1994-1996, and have been the Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the NRM since 1995. …

I worked on wolf research and conservation issues, including regulated public harvest of wolves, on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska from 1975-88. Wolves on the island-like Kenai Peninsula were extirpated by 1920. They eventually naturally recolonized the 10,000 square mile Peninsula in the mid-1960s by natural dispersal through a 10 mile-wide land/ice-bridge from the Alaska mainland (Peterson et al. 1984). That wolf population grew to as many as 200 wolves that occupied all suitable habitat by the late-1970s. The wolf population has remained relatively stable through the present time. Wolves there have been harvested under State and Refuge hunting and trapping programs since the mid-1970s. Harvest slightly reduced wolf density for a short period of time in the early 1980s, but since that time the wolf population has remained relatively stable and has been regulated largely by natural factors- despite ongoing liberal public hunting and trapping programs. Despite very few founders, very limited, if any, additional wolf dispersal to the Kenai Peninsula, and continued high levels of human-caused mortality the Kenai Peninsula population remains robust and viable. No conservation concerns have been documented in the past 50 years related to the extremely limited habitat connectivity or genetic viability (Talbot and Scribner 1997). …

The NRM wolf population currently contains approximately 1,513 adult wolves, plus their pups born in spring 2008, in at least 192 packs, 107 of which were classified as breeding pairs in 2007 (Service et al. 2008). The USFWS defines a breeding pair as a pack containing at least an adult male and an adult female and at least 2 pups on December 31. The foundation of any viable population is successful breeding and recruitment into the population so the metric of a breeding pair was developed to ensure biologically meaningful recovery criteria (Mitchell et al. 2008). …

The NRM DPS meta-population consists of wolves in the core recovery areas of northwestern Montana, central Idaho, and the Greater Yellowstone Area [GYA] that includes northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana, and southeastern Idaho. Natural wolf dispersal occurs routinely between Canada, northwestern Montana, central Idaho and the GYA. Dispersal to the GYA occurs less frequently than between the other areas but likely occurs annually. Biologically, the NRM wolf is simply a 400 mile southern extension of the vast healthy and harvested adjacent Canadian wolf population. …

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